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And then ... (speaking of invisibility)


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So I'm walking down the hall, minding my own business ... and as I pass door number 6, I catch this strange, muffled little sound. The door is closed – which is strange enough, this being the kind of place it is – but that could be anything. Not that big a deal. The orange/red glow coming from underneath, though ... well, that's quite unusual.

I pause, glancing up and down the hall. Empty. When nothing happens for a few seconds, I make to move on, but then ... there it is again. What is that ... a freaking cat? Human? Certainly not television - not here. Something about it is so, familiar ... almost reminds me of – oh ... oh man, I know that sound.

I quickly run through the protocols ... and make my decision.

A bit disappointed that my heart rate has jumped a notch, I move to the door and place my palm against the scanner. I sense more than hear the tumblers releasing, and the door unseals without a sound. A faint scent of ... something I can't quite place ... wafts out of the room as I press the door open – one inch a second, no more, no less.

When it's ajar enough for me to step through, I glance again up and down the hall, and only then slip off my headgear. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, I count silently to three, and step through the door ...

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close the door behind me. I can't have my coworkers discovering the wonders that I behold. I didn't even know any of these still existed, and I'm not going to worry about how it got here. Heck, I can scarcly believe what I am seeing. None of the other government pukes could possibly understand the importance of what I am seeing.

As it is, I am taking a great risk hoping that nobody in my office will miss me. Thankfully, it's a Friday afternoon, and you know how many government workers hang around on a beautiful Friday afternoon. However, this Friday, it's they who are missing out.

So having secured some privacy...

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stod in appreciation of what lay in front of me.

Gingerly, I walk around the room, glancing back at the door to make sure it's locked, and listening intently for sounds from the corridor outside.

I walk around the room slowly, taking in every detail of it as I completed a full circle. The lines and curves were at once familar, yet distant, the colors vivid, proving that nostalgia hadn't sharpened the memory. The odor; a faint pungency that recalled more than even the sight of it itself. And the sound that is and yet isn't, as much felt as heard.

Looking at it, I was transported back to a different time and place, back to the purging times, back to my early career with the 'organization'. And for the first time in years, I thought back to her..... the memories so carefully and lovingly folded and stored away in order to keep going, to move on, and not drive myself slowly insane....

Snapping out of my reverie, I moved towards it. I knew exactly what I must do. Whether by accident, design, or out of my own twisted psyche, fate had placed before me the one instrument that would let me make ammends, allow me to finish what was left undone, and perhaps... allow my to once again find an inner peace.

I ran my hands over it, once again recalling the warnings of Professor Maitland, and .....

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his psychotic rants. He was a person to be respected, but 'nutty' is to kind of a word to describe the old man.

As I reflected on his words, I start to recall other warnings of what lay before me.

I don't quite recognize the people who gave these warnings...

Is my mind making stuff up?


These warnings are so clear. It's as if I'm hearing them...

I AM hearing them!

From where??

Does this thing talk?

I slowly turn to face the thing when...

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... a powerful wave of shame washes over me.

My knees practically buckle at the intensity of it. Shame ... the real thing. Not for the troubling ease with which my professionalism has so been derailed by this vision, but rather, for the callous, barren way that recent years – spent diligently, almost pathologically lost in my work – have brought me to a place where I can so cavalierly refer to this, this wonder ... as an "it."

For surely, surely, in all of the years such wonders have beguiled Man, never has there been an incarnation so stunning, so vital, so ... welcoming.

There being only one thing to do, and knowing it must be done NOW ... I set to my task.

"Screw Maitland," I mutter, through clenched teeth ...

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bite my nipples. I scream in pain as I leave the office, and everybody glances over, surprised. I try to play it cool, even though there is an orange glow eminating from under my jacket. I say, "Just a little heartburn," and continue on my way.

I run out of the building, picking up speed, trying to get home as fast as I can, when Dr. Maitland steps out from behind a dumpster.

"Well, well, well..." he mutters, and pulls out a pistol. I...

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freeze in fear. "Time for your yearly testicular cancer screening young man." Seven times in one month? "Well, you have to be careful these days." He said.

I tell him that I will not do this again. He says, "Well, I guess I will just have to shoot you then." Just as he is about to pull the trigger he notices the strange orange glow emanating from under my jacket. "What's that?" He said. Oh, it's nothing. Don't worry about it. "No, give me your jacket!" "I want to know what the strange orange glow is." I take it off and hand it to him. He swipes it from my hand and quickly puts it on. "Wow, this is awesome." Just as he finishes his sentence he starts to scream. "Ahhhhhhh! get it off, get it off!!" "It's trying to get into my anus!" He immediately start running down the street as fast and he can. As he turns the corner, he looks around for someone to help him. He notices a small bar that is still open. He runs full speed for the door. "The Blue Oyster" he reads. "I hope someone in here can help me." He bursts through the door and yells. "There's something trying to get into my anus!" After finishing his proclamation he notices and there are only men in various leather biker outfits and construction uniforms. "Oh my God!" "This is a gay bar!" Just as he tries to leave...

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an automatic "anal insertions that got stuck" remover. It's called the hospital. Just as I'm walking past the Blue Oyster, I see Dr. Maitland burst out, and he begs me for a ride to the hospital. I agree, but only if he promises not to shoot me.

He hops in my Navigator, and he screams in agony. "It's going into my....

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... and then there's silence.

No matter how many times you see a human being become invisible ... it never stops sending chills up your spine. One second, there's a person there ... the next second, you're looking at clothes, bizarrely suspended in the air.

The look in my eyes must have tipped Maitland off, because even though his vocal chords had ceased to fuction -- as they would continue throughout the duration of his episode -- I could tell from the way his London Fog twisted towards me that he was looking at me.

I didn't want to, but I had to stop when the light turned red. Before I could react, the empty overcoat opened the passenger door, and then was sprinting down Roosenwood Ave. I watched as the coat peeled itself off, followed by the Oxford shirt, the slacks, then finally the socks and loafers. The last I saw of Maitland was three quick splashes through a puddle by the curb ... and then he was gone.

I sat there, shaking, all the memories and feelings I had worked so hard to suppress for all those years flooding back in an overwhelming wave. I tried to wipe the thought from my mind as it came, quickly, forcefully, unbidden ... but there it was no use. There was only one way to find Maitland, and only one person who could help me do it.

I found myself essentially a passenger in my own vehicle, as my Navigator seemingly remembered the path to her door of its own volition.

My new life was gone, and I was back in game.


Chapter II

She didn't seem all that surprised to see me.

Our eyes met for just an instant, but there was a lifetime's worth of meaning in it.

"Navajo," I said quietly ... and her eyes narrowed.

She paused, and I could sense the turmoil within her. But then she stepped slowly backward, and nodded slightly, letting me back into her life ...

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but in much the same way that I passed through doorway. Slowly. Cautiously. It seemed a lifetime had passed since we had last seen each other. She hadn't changed. At least not outwardly. Average in height, she would never be confused with a supermodel. She was still a beautiful women. Though a supermodel never seemed to possess an I.Q. that rivaled or surpassed most scientist. Present and past. That explained her past with Maitland. Her long black hair, which seemed never to be out of sorts, framed the medditeranian features of her face. Her athletic yet curvey body given no small amount of sensualality by the way she walked. Much the same way a model walks down a runway at a fashion show. Only with much more confidence.

I took the the seat she offered with a gracful sweep of one hand and rested by face in my hands. The shaking would start soon. The effects of the adrenaline rush from the last hours events beginning to wear off. She brought me a cup off coffee and sat down in front of me.

"Navajoe?" She asked.




Her eyes widened with that response. "Funny. I always thought it would be you". A wink.

"Ouch. " I put the cup down, leaned forward, , rested my chin on my now shaking hands and looked her in the eyes. "Maitland took it from me." Again, she didn't seem suprised. "When?"

"About an hour ago"

" Yes. That would be about right."

My head shot up at that. I stared at her for what seemed an hour, but in reality, only a few seconds. She smiled in an almost mischivous way ,stood, and walked out of the room.

"Figures. I was at lunch. You should have been too." she said as she led me down the hallway. She placed her hand on the palm scanner? Whispered something and the door opened. I followed her through the door and .....

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stench was eminating from the room. At first, I couldn't figure out where the sour, stale smell was coming from. I turned around very quickly and to my surprise there was a dead goat strapped to her leg. This goat was not you're ordinary goat. It was very small and smelled as if had been there for ages. I stepped back in horror and I knew this girl was up to something.................

But what, why would this woman want me..... Especially with a goat strapped to her leg. All of a sudden I realize that her face was quite familiar.. It was her....but not her at all. Dr. Maitland was everywhere. Or was he? What is going on? Who can I trust? What did he do with the girl? And why the goat?

I needed answers and I wanted them now.......

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And then I realized something. This woman was Dr. Maitland. He had infiltrated her somehow. That's why she is so different. That's why she looks the same, but yet, she ISN'T the same. It also explained the goat on the leg.

Just as I was getting up to run, Dr. Maitland appeared before me. "Well, well well...

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I looked back up at him, eyes wide with confusion and suprise. He smiled back at me and flicked his eyebrows up down once. He knew something. He knew this would happen.

"How di...? I mean I saw you....." I stammered. Still suffering the

effects of my....journey. " I went to Tori's place. I saw her. I mean I think I did." I looked down at the ground and shook my head. Looking back up at Maitland I began to say something else, but the widening grin on his face stopped me.

"Quite the ride wasn't it?" He replied. Just then his pocket beeped. His Pocket beeped? How does a pocket be...Oh. His phone. It was quite the ride.

"Yes?" he said into the wafer thin phone. "Oh yes my dear. He's back. Yes I understand it was a risk but one that I believe will pay substantial dividends. I... What? Yes go on." He listened intently and the smile slowly left his face. It was replaced with a frown. "Yes, well. That does seem a little coincedental. Please keep me informed. Yes, I'll say Hi." He closed the phone and looked at me.

"So I was at her place." I said rather accusingly. "But I was here as well. And I saw you disappear."

"As I said", he replied, "Quite the ride."

Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere.....

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A strange engulfing mist appeared from out of thin air! What more could there possibly be from Maitland, I thought. Why the constant change of metamorphic unrealities and what the the hell could it all mean. Just then the loud scream of the beast on the leg of the woman, for this was no ordinary dead goat. It's scream was shrilling as from depths of hades itself and the loud laborious laughter from Maitland......

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'Well, enough of this nonsense' I said to myself. I didn't know what that sound was and why it's so damn funny, but it was obvious my cover had been totally blown. Not only was Maitland still alive, but Tori was working with him. I must get back to the embassy immediately. The CIA must know about this.

I pulled out my sidearm and catching Maitland by suprise, I emptied the clip into his astonished face. Removing the item from my jacket I noticed the glow fading, it's effects wearing off ...

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  • 8 months later...

Had to get back. I knew that they knew I'd have to get to Erickson and his passwords to The System at the Embassy. But I also knew that they'd need ME to get them, if they were to have any hope of eliminating the sub-quark interference. So I knew they'd let me get there.

What would happen AFTER I met Erickson ... well, one crisis at a time, you know?

Strangely enough, early in the 21st century, it still seems most folks are not used to seeing a Navigator coolly and efficiently navigate the streets of rush-hour Osaka ... without a driver.

The expressions were priceless .... especially the one I got from the young girl driving a green Civic that I pulled up next to at a light. Classic double-take if I ever saw one. I stifled a laugh – no reason to leave voice-prints in a company vehicle. Plus They were probably scanning the entire metropolitan area for audio anyway.

And then, when I happened to pass a young man on the street being photographed with his arms spread out wide, modeling what I instantly recognized as an early Toshiubi Opti in raincoat form (XL, from the looks of it) for a battery of serious-looking types in white lab coats, and at least a half-dozen non-standard issue cameras ... well, I just had to laugh. I mean, there are rides, and there are rides.

Unprofessional? Perhaps. But I'd been out of the game a long time. I'd find my legs again soon.

I always had.


I'll give Cpl. Fonseca credit. When the Navigator pulled up to the Embassy gate and screeched to a halt, and the door flew open and nobody stepped out, he didn't hesitate. His M-16 leveled at the Nav, nestling in the crook of his right arm ... and with his left, he pressed his radio to his ear.

"Captain!" he hissed. "It's him."

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As I sped past the Corporal I could not help but appreciate the drama of my circumstances. Here, there is Alphonseca Fonseca, the friend and lover of my childhood, standing there in calm repose, his confliction betrayed only by the hiss of his melodious voice. Here, there is sweet Alphonseca and his M-16, on orders to deny me access to Erickson, the Company-prodigy-turned-Embassy-man.

It was confirmed by Board Intel that Erickson could not have guessed the Company influence on government. The curious turn of events that lead me to infiltrate the lair of our proxy holdings; the devastating irony of Phonsie intent on stopping me; the notion of the bizarre item I've secreted in my pants; all of these things evoke another stifled laugh.

The moments after passing Fonseca, lingering for a button-snap of time to inhale his remarkable air, were...

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...Unbearably convoluted. Suddenly, Dr. Maitland appeared in front of me, screaming bloody murder. He possessed a baseball bat and whacked me in the side of the head.

I woke up several hours later with a bad case of amnesia. Believing I was Michael Jordan, I got up and went to the MCI Center.

Once there, I discovered a dimebag of weed and toked up till morning. As the sun rose...

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